UB Grid Consultancy

Supporting the development of electricity networks across the globe

UB Grid Consultancy offers in depth technical and commercial consulting services for all aspects of power systems. Providing services for Network Operators, Development Banks, Large Industrial Users, SMEs, Generation Developers, Local Authorities, Academia, and other consultancies.

UB Grid Consultancy focusses on

  • Developing and Implementing Smart Grids
  • Transmission and Distribution Network Planning
  • Supporting the Development and Connection of Distributed Generation Projects
  • Supporting the Purchasing and Integration of Energy Storage
  • Developing Companies Power and Energy Strategies
  • Project Management

UBGC is here to support your organisation. Please contact pbale@ubgc.co.uk for more information.

Our Services

Developing and Implementing Smart Grids

Smart Grids can be used as a tool to unlock significant benefits, either as a temporary or long term solution. When suitable Smart Grid techniques are applied in the right areas, it has been shown to speed up access to the network and / or reduce costs for customers. These techniques can also be used by businesses behind the meter on their private networks to facilitate change, save money, improve security and make the most of the existing electricity network connection.

Why Smart Grids

Electricity network infrastructure has historically been designed and developed for passive power distribution and transmission requirements.  This means that networks are planned for the worst credible scenarios with a fit and forget approach. When trying to integrate significant levels of low carbon technologies (Distributed Generation, Heat Pumps, Electric Vehicles) within passive electricity networks, it can quickly cause technical issues restricting further connections.
Passive networks can be reinforced conventionally (building networks even bigger) or they can be operated actively using Smart techniques. UB Grid Consultancy can help identify what to do, when, how smart techniques should be used and support the roll out. Supporting the Development of a Smart Flexible Energy System with Distribution System Operators (DSO).
Carrying out conventional network reinforcement will increase network capacity. However, there are circumstances where it isn’t very effective, prohibitively expensive or takes too long to plan, design and construct. Smart Grid techniques can provide a quicker and / or more cost-effective way to make the most of the existing assets.

Smart Techniques are increasingly being used when customers can’t wait for the traditional reinforcement to be carried out. Waiting 3-5 years can limit the increases in generation and demand growth across entire areas, having a knock-on impact on climate change targets and economic growth of an area.

Innovative solutions have now been proven to cost effectively increase network capacity or provide quicker options than traditional network reinforcement. UBGC and its associates can help to develop and roll out the solutions in the right areas, which are robust, take a strategic engineering approach and considering the whole system.

Examples include:

  • Network Monitoring and Control
  • Connecting and configuring Energy Storage
  • Connecting and configuring Distributed generation
  • Dynamic Voltage Control
  • Flexible AC Transmission systems (FACTs)
  • Advanced Planning Tools (Times series analysis & Planning)
  • Contingency Analysis
  • Active Network Management
  • Including constraint analysis
  • Reactive Power Control
  • Dynamic and Enhanced ratings

Transmission & Distribution Network Planning

Planning a distribution network is a long-term process, some high value equipment has an operational life exceeding 60 years. This means it is vital to consider all the technical aspects associates with the designed and operation over the short, medium and long term. Getting it wrong means stranded assets or assets being replaced too early.
Having led the Primary System Design team within the East Midlands, Philip was responsible for the safe and efficient development of the East Midlands 33kV and 132kV networks to UK technical requirements. This network supplies power to 2.6m homes and businesses through 490 Bulk Supply Points and Primary Substations. He also held the technical and commercial accountability for the network reinforcement, new Demand connections and new Generation connections.

He led the strategy to cater for demand increases including CBA and optioneering process for the locating of new Grid Supply Points (400kV/132kV), Bulk Supply Points (132kV/33kV) and Primary Substations (33kV/11kV) across the East Midlands

UBGC and its associates can advise how to economically develop a technically compliant power system.

Supporting Distributed Generation Projects

Distributed Generation, also known as Embedded or Disperse generation is any type of generator connected to the distribution network rather than the transmission network. This includes solar, wind, biomass, hydro power, geothermal, gas and diesel engines.

UBGC and its associates can provide support for developers, including:

  • Advice for DG developers to decide which connection is right for them:
    – Firm connections:
    Two different network connections to independent network assets and a connection agreement to export on either network. This means an outage or fault on any one network asset should not impact on the ability to export power.
    – Non-Firm connections:
    One single network connection to the distribution network. This means an outage or fault on a network asset may result in the site being unable to export or reduce the ability to export.
    – Alternative, timed, ANM, Flexible connections:
    Either one or two connections, but the DNO has the ability to constrain the generation down or off under both normal and abnormal network conditions (this is often when there is high levels of generation and the network demand is low).
  • Supporting developers make a DG Application
    – Support filling in the ENA Application and providing advice for technical and commercial questions.
  • Due Diligence for Accepted and Connected schemes
    – Review of Accepted offers and Connection Agreements to assess risks for a site.
  • Providing specialist Active Network Management consultancy
    – Risk assessment for ANM connection offers.
    – Analysis of potential constraints under credible scenarios.
  • Advice for connected generators experiencing issues or constraints.
  • Supporting advice for ENA G100 assessments (Customer Export Limiting Schemes)

Supporting Energy Storage Projects

Energy Storage, specifically Electrical Energy Storage is recognised as a key enabling technology in the realisation of future electricity networks. Decreasing technology costs, improving asset life, new commercial markets and changes to balancing mechanisms have significantly increased the number of new installations directly to transmission networks, distribution networks or behind the meter on a customer’s network.

The market and business case is still evolving and is still considered complex, UBGC and its associates can provide support for developers, including:

  • Connection advice (see Connecting Distributed Generation)
  • Running a competitive Procurement exercise
  • Technology assessment for different applications
  • Revenue stacking (How to maximise the value from installing energy storage by accessing the maximum number of complementary revenue sources)
  • Sizing inverter and storage (MW and MWh)
  • Integration into an existing networks and systems


Developing Companies Power and Energy Strategies

UBGC and its associates can provide impartial advice and support for organisations including Large Industrial Users, SMEs, Local Authorities.

  • Supporting Local Authorities with the development of the Local Plan relating to Electricity,
  • Detail where the existing distribution network is and the capacity it likely can support,
  • Work with the local Distribution Network Operator to identify to you the likely areas which will require significant works or likely to have high network reinforcement costs.
  • Help you work with the Distribution Network Operator to ask the right Questions.
  • Supporting businesses plan for their electricity requirements:
    – Advising how to reduce consumption
    – Advise how to improve electricity forecasting
    – Advise how to reduce the risks of price volatility
    – Applying to increase a site’s Agreed Supply Capacity
    – Advising how to install generation or energy storage
    – Provide a range of options to consider

Project Management

As an experienced Prince2 Project Manager. UBGC can oversee your technical or commercial projects with experience of delivering large and small projects, delivering to time, cost and quality.

About Philip Bale

About Philip Bale

Philip has a 1st class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and has worked in the T&D sector for 10 years. He has worked for the UK’s leading Distribution Network Operator in the key areas and departments.

He has been in influencing the strategy for Future Distribution Networks. Conducting Research and Development, securing funding for large innovation projects, designing and rolling out Innovation projects, designing a strategy for 132kV, 33kV and 11kV networks.

Philip’s experience has allowed him to shape the Smart Grid landscape, demonstrate projects at scale and roll them into Business as Usual. He has been the principle designer, successful bid manager and delivery manager for projects in excess of £20m. As the company specialist in Energy Storage and FACTs devices, he contributing to the published Energy Storage Good Practice Guide. He led Western Power Distribution’s Primary System Design team in the East Midlands responsible for all new Demand and Generation connections on the 132kV and 33kV networks and a network reinforcement programme.

UBGC has a network of expert associate companies which can be partnered with to support larger more specialised projects.

Key Values

  • Providing independent, impartial advice.
  • Robust and practical solutions
  • Effective interaction at operational and senior management levels
  • Transfer of knowledge to clients
  • Clear communication with both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Confidentiality, open debate, and a focus on timely delivery

Contact UB Grid Consultancy


Company Registration Number: 10668640
Registered Address: Unit S6, Temple 1852, Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QS